Party guest: “Oh? You’re a writer? What do you write?”
Me: “I write fiction. SciFi and Fantasy. Fantasy mainly.”
Party guest: “For kids?”
Me: “I write Fantasy for adults.”
Party guest: “Oh, you write erotica about tramp-stamped detective chicks and vampires.”
Me: “Um. No. I’m writing about Irish myth and the Troubles.”
Party guest: “Oh, you write erotica about tramp-stamped Irish chicks and fairies with butterfly wings.”
I’ve never witnessed a conversation like the one above when the author in question is male. Writing for children is never brought up, let alone erotica. During my last signing at Barnes and Noble, I spent more than half my time explaining to customers that no, there aren’t any vampires in the book, the main character is male, and the only tattoos present on any character are prison tattoos. As much progress as has been made in SciFi and Fantasy circles* and in American society in general, we’ve still got a long way to go. So, let me get something off my chest here and now. As much as I’m okay with Romance’s interest in all things Fantasy, it can be, let’s just say, extremely frustrating for someone like me.
Because I don’t like Romance as a literary genre, and I never have.
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